In a massive relief to Bollywood actor Salman Khan, he has been acquitted of all charges in connection with the 2002 hit-and-run case by the Bombay High Court.
Pronouncing the order, Justice A R Joshi said, " Salman Salim Khan is acquitted from all the charges". Explaining the order, the judge said, "The prosecution has failed to prove any charges against Salman Khan."
Bollywood actor Salman Khan walks from Bombay High Court in Mumbai on December 10, 2015, after being acquitted of culpable homicide. Pic/AFP
The court further dictated, "Considering various shortcomings of the prosecution, the omissions and contradictions in evidence of injured witnesses, which go to root of matter, doubt definitely arises over the involvement of Khan on charges."
The court asked the actor to furnish a cash bond of Rs 25,000. Reacting to the verdict, the public prosecutor said that the state will appeal against the verdict.
Khan, clad in a dark-checked shirt and jeans, heard out the verdict after he rushed here from a shooting schedule in Karjat, adjacent Raigad district following the court's directive.
Most family members, including his father Salim Khan, his sisters, brothers, friends and fans were present when the judgement was pronounced.
Earlier, besides observing that the prosecution failed to prove Salman was drunk and driving, the court has also questioned the credibility of Khan's bodyguard Ravindra Patil, a key prosecution witness who had said that the actor was driving drunk and had ignored his warnings repeatedly.
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The court noted that no one but Patil had given this version.
(With Agency inputs)